March 3, 2015

My 20 Baby Favorites

Alright here it is, the post a lot of you have been asking for! I have been asked time and time again this past year what things I loved to have as a momnewb. Take note of the "newb" part as I definitely don't claim to be an expert on this by any means but these are just what worked for us! All babies are different and I learn of new products DAILY that I want to try so if you have other favorites I would love to hear them!! Don't be afraid to share the love.


1) Pampers Swaddler Diapers • We tried countless diapers and trust me, we were given every brand under the sun! When we were gearing towards Remi's shower, I was asked by various ladies what I would love and the first thing that came to mind was diapers. It was so nice though because we didn't buy our first package of diapers until she was 4 months old. (!!!) From No-Name brands to Huggies, these were hands down our favorite. I felt like they fit her shape best, they seemed the softest, and if you have a diaper-skeptic husband like Jason, the indicator strip is a lifesaver haha!

2) Vtech Audio Baby Monitor • We looked into the neat monitors that have cameras, motion sensitivity, or breathing sensors that you can view from your phone but with our budget we settled for this simple, affordable, audio baby monitor. Nothing fancy but it works like a charm. It illuminates if you want so you can find it in the dark. It made for a simple night light too.

3) Sassy Brand Link Toy • These were Remi's favorite from 1 month to now. Not kidding, she still loves them. She first was stimulated by the colors, especially the black and white, and now loves to feel and play with them. They are easy to hang from her carseat or stash in the diaper bag without taking up a lot of space.

4) Baby Bouncer  (AKA places to set baby down) • If I had room I would have included a picture of a baby swing and exersaucer. These all fall in the same category in my opinion. Necessitites! I don't know about anyone else's baby but Remi loved to be moved around frequently and try out different motions. The bouncing, swinging, and jumping really helped in her development and I learned which motion soothed her best too. The bouncer was my favorite because I could move it with me wherever I was and have her close enough to keep entertained. 
SIDENOTE: I don't have a link to any stores for this number because our swing, bouncer + exersaucer were all given to us. Women are lending/giving these away all the time so to save a little $$$ I asked around to family and friends! It was great! I wouldn't trust them so much from a stranger though with all the germs... just a thought.

5) Wubbanub "Lamby" • Yup, you read that right. I did the same thing..., "what on earth?! Wubbanub?!" haha. I never thought in a million years this would be a favorite haha. Remi gravitated to the soothie and gumdrop pacifiers and when my friend got me the soothie attached to lamb I wondered why on earth someone would create something like that! It looks a bit silly hanging from her mouth but GUYS, it was a game changer. The attached stuffy weighs it down enough that it stays in her mouth a lot more without being spit out. It also made for a built in stuffed animal that she could hold, or play with. Eventually she could even put it back in her mouth on her own which I loved of course! She grew out of it at about 6 months but I was definitely a fan. Check them out! There are tons of other animals to choose from.

6) Bink Link Soother Clips  • This was, again, a gift from a friend and when she had her own baby I bought one for her I loved it so much. I realize soother clips are soother clips but these ones are adorable! There is very little exposed metal so I felt a lot safer when Remi would put it in her mouth. Again, check them out as there are so many other cute styles. We particularly loved the candy necklace and gumdrop ones. People got a kick out of them!

7) Conair White Noise Machine • We started out with a bunny that played white noise but the down side was that it timed out after 50 minutes or so. I found out the hard way that when the noise stops your baby realizes that and will wake, especially if you have people over or the washer going. AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT! My brother and sister in-law have this machine and when their kids go down we still party because they sleep through everything with this amazing machine! It's awesome. Keep calm and party on!

8) Munchkin Bottle Brush • I produced a lot of milk so I would pump a lot after I breastfed (which I will mention next) but the smell of milk drove me up the wall. I seriously felt like milk was my new perfume. Nothing like walking around smelling like old sour curdled milk! Jk it wasn't that bad... I hope. I will say that as much as you try, if you are nursing the smell is kind of unavoidable. I got better as time went on but it was still kind of messy! I did find, however, that scrubbing the heck out of bottles made it a bit more bearable. My dishwasher just didn't do the job thoroughly enough. Manually scrubbing with yummy-smelling soap and hot water gave me a lot more peace of mind and masked the milk smell well! Or at least it made it seem that way. I may just have to rock the perma-milk perfume. All the cool moms are doing it.

9) Evenflo Dual Electric Breast Pump • Alright this one might include too much personal info but chances are you are reading this because you're a mom or mom-to-be and all dignity has gone out the window or will be soon so we are in the same boat! haha. I bought this pump in the clearance section for $30 on a whim because I didn't think I would need one. (Bahahaa so funny to say that now.) I produced a ridiculous amount of milk and engorgement was my worst nightmare for the first month. Remi ate and ate and ate but sucking on bowling balls was near impossible - poor girl! I busted out my trusty pump and it saved my life and I might be serious about that haha. Holy smokes breast feeding was painful at first! It was a huge adjustment but I would eventually feed Remi and pump the excess. I had bottles and bottles of milk so Remi learned to both breastfeed and take from a bottle. Most babies don't do that so I was lucky! With the pump I learned that one side produced double the amount that the other did which I wouldn't have known had I stuck to strictly breastfeeding. The other thing I loved was that I knew just how much Remi was getting and if she was grumpy it wasn't due to hunger. SOOO NICE! She also became a champ at sleeping through the night extremely early because I had control over her schedule. I became an exclusive pumper at 5 months and Remi adapted instantly. She learned to get fed by anyone and I honestly believe it helped with veering away from attachment issues as she doesn't play strange. I also loved the convenience of being able to feed her anywhere while on the go. It can be plugged in or works on batteries. It is a bit loud but not loud enough to be awkward. It worked for me and it was heaven but again, just my personal opinion and what worked for us!

10) Diaper Genie • I started out with just a cute bucket with a lid but found I changed it waaaay too often. The Genie also masked the smell so much better and Remi doesn't climb up on it. It's a little more expensive because of the refill packs so here is a hack that will save you a few pennies!

11) GAP Baby Jeggings and Socks • I am including these because they are hands down my go-to outfit basics. Remi received maybe 4 pairs of each in various sizes at her shower  so we are set haha! They fit the cutest, the snuggest, and the best. These mock jeans are super comfy and realistic which is maybe the shallow mommy-ness in me I guess? I like the details and cute pockets on the bum haha.  S'cute! As for socks, these ones are the only ones I found that don't fall off and are thick enough to still keep her warm. Wins all around!

12) Travel Hand Sanitzer • I hope this is pretty self explanatory. So convenient as it attaches right to your diaper bag strap and I use it A LOT! I am pretty relaxed on germs considering Remi is my first baby, but I still really felt the need to sanitize, especially after diaper changes. Poop and urine. Nuff said.

13) BUMBO • I loved this gift from my sister in-law but Remi unfortunately took a little while to warm up to it haha. She needed a bit more strength in order to use it. Once that happened though I put her on the counter while I cooked, on the table while I cleaned, on the piano while I played, in the shower while I washed, etc.. It was great. I would definitely advise you to get the tray though as toys and food were annoying to have to pick up for her over and over again. This way she had a place to put things right in front of her without losing them as often. So easy to wash and so easy to store! Look for deals though or ask if someone will lend you theirs as they can be a bit pricey.

14) Baby Jogger City Select Stroller • Okay, there are a lot of stroller opinions out there my friends. A lot! I am going to be honest and say you really need to do your homework before investing in one. Read reviews, look for deals, shop around, heck, pay attention at malls and ask ladies what brands theirs are and what they think of it! All new moms will search for the perfect stroller to fit their lifestyle, trust me. In my personal opinion, I can't say enough about the City Select strollers. I just recently flew with a friend to Arizona and it was a breeeeeze! It packed up so nicely and we maneuvered it all over AZ with the attachment so both babies could ride in their own seats together. Yes, it's pricey but it's so worth it! (Click on the link to find great deals! When I bought mine it was on sale for $350!! STEAL!) I jog with it, I glide smoothly on crumby roads with it, I take it in little shops and it fits through tight isles, it turns sharp, it packs up easily, it has the greatest and most clever attachments,  and they look classy and sleek! I dare you to ask me about my City Select haha. I could go on and on! If you prefer a bit smaller model, go for the City Select Mini! Also great.

15) Think Mink • This is Remi's bunny and we named her Foo Foo. I don't necessarily mean to focus on the bunny but rather her minky texture. I highly recommend that you buy products with this feel. Remi is a SUCKER for the soft minky texture in anything. Blankets, stuffies, clothes, carseat liners? She nuzzles her little face in and is the happiest little camper. Let's just say, she was a huge fan of Santa's getup when we took her to see him at the mall this last year. Bahaha! This might sound weird but in her early stages I found that Remi snuggled things a lot like I would! She prefers things close to her face like her hands or my body so I would use blankets or Foo Foo as replacements. I think using tips and tricks that I preferred myself helped a lot to soothe her. She was rarely fussy. This texture cracks us up though and it has become a deal breaker! Don't mess with the mink.

16) Vaseline + Penaten Duo • nurses in the hospital supply you with vaseline for your newborn. I kept this up for a few months after we brought her home but eventually quit once her bowel movement consistency changed. However, when teething came around, Remi developed the worst rashes I have ever seen! The poor girl was experimented on with every cream and ointment imaginable! My end solution was Vaseline and Penaten, not necessarily together but if you have time for that, have at er'! It clears it up so fast - sometimes within hours!
Sidenote: if a rash gets extremely sore, first apply a hydrocortisone cream for inflammation. I often apply Vaseline just in case now. Poor babies go through a lot!

(If you have a baby girl, yeast infections are a doozy and need a lot more attention than just these creams. Hydrocortisone creams help with inflammation but include an antifungal cream like clotrimazole or something stronger like Nystatin. Remi has only had one but I felt so bad for her! Be prepared for these because they're no bueno!)

17+18) Bjorn and Modern Wrap • I feel like I am a little too excited about some of these products I have mentioned today. I guess as a mother when you find something that makes things more convenient and truly works for you, you become a sucker for that product and want to tell the world!! I had Remi in the spring so by the time summer hit I wanted ways to carry her around seamlessly without her waking and without my arms falling off. For hiking we used the Bjorn. It was so much more supportive on our backs and sturdy. If Remi ever woke up during our hikes she would just chill. I felt she was extremely comfy. As for everyday walking outside, at events, or around the house, I won this modern wrap and I'm sold! Hook, line, and sinker. It's very comfortable and can fold up very easily. With other wraps I found they were so long I would get lost and tangled when trying to wrap Remi up. This one is shorter and super efficient especially when you are trying to wrap a sleeping baby! (I follow them on instagram and they are always being linked to giveaways so look for those great deals!)

19) Huggies Wipe Clutch • I don't particularly love huggies wipes per say but I sure love this clutch. I keep it in my diaper bag and refill it with the wipes I love. So convenient!

20) Muslin Swaddle Blankets • Many love the Aden + Anais swaddle blankets and I do too but they tend to be a bit higher in price. There are similar ones all over like Target, Winners and Etsy just to name a few. Either way, a soft blanket that wraps up your newborn is the way to go. They are also all I ever used in the summer because they are so lightweight and breathable.

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I am adding two more, 21 & 22, because I thought of two more afterwards. Of course.

21) A Rocking Chair • that one is pretty self explanatory but putting Remi to sleep is so much easier this way. A lady was giving away some granny pink ones so we snagged them. They look a little tacky but we didn't have to break the bank so that was nice. Someday I will reupholster them. Someday.

22) Tommee Tippee Roll N' Go Bib • I didn't realize how much I would love these!! One of my pet peeves with high chairs is how much gunk gets stuck down inside the little spaces or under Remi's bottom as she eats. It's messy and annoying so I hunted for something to catch the food. I came across these rubbery bibs that not only have the scoop to catch things but they roll up, are easily washed, and have an adjustable breathable strap. Perfect for on-the-go meals too! I like that they are bendable and not stiff so they mold to her. They are also not as cold if she wears them shirtless. I highly recommend this type of bib to everyone!
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So there you have it, my mom newb guide to products we love. I hope it helps you out! As you will notice, I mention to look for deals a lot. I found there were endless amounts of generous people out there willing to help out new mothers. If you have the means then definitely splurge and get the top products you want! If I could give any final words of advice though it would be to WAIT. I know as new moms we feel unprepared and nervous to get things organized but it works out! I received great products with some fantastic deals and felt so loved. I know that is sappy but people are so kind! I will definitely be paying it forward when we are done having kids... 
Wubbanubs for everyoooone!!

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